WASHINGTON — Coach John Tortorella paced up and down the bench, trying to keep the Blue Jackets' spirits high as they faced their first two-goal deficit since November.
But the Blue Jackets just didn't have it Thursday night. Columbus lost a 5-0 clunker to the Capitals, ending its winning streak at 16 games, one shy of the NHL record set by the 1992-93 Penguins.
The Blue Jackets' league-leading power play was blanked over five chances, and Columbus lost for the first time since Nov. 26. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, rock solid throughout the streak, was chased and replaced by Curtis McElhinney after allowing goals to Daniel Winnik, John Carlson, Nate Schmidt, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams on 23 shots.
"All year long I haven't been in (the dressing room)," Tortorella said, "but I would be remiss if I didn't tell them … that's one (great) run".
The Capitals extended their winning streak to four and moved within five points of the Blue Jackets for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. They were eager to curb Columbus' run.
"I wanted to stop the streak," Williams said. "Who wouldn't want to stop a streak."
The loss was just the Blue Jackets' fourth in regulation in 32 games and their first since Nov. 23. The Jackets — whose streak began with a 5-1 win over the Lightning on Nov. 29 — are 25-3-3 since Oct. 28.